The Rolling Stones-The Stones in the Park (1969)

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Released 4-Sep-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Menu Animation & Audio
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1969
Running Time 52:58
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Jo Durden-Smith
Leslie Woodhead
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Mick Jagger
Tom Keeler
Mick Taylor
Keith Richards
Wayne Wyman
Case ?
RPI $29.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Frame English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, dope aplenty wafting around
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits Yes, band still playing during end credits

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    On the 5th of July 1969, the Rolling Stones put on a free concert in Hyde Park, London. Almost half a million people came along and set themselves up for the day in the Cockpit Area of the park. This was only 2 days after Brian Jones’ death and this concert has sometimes been seen as a public tribute to the man. Mick even takes a few minutes at the start of the concert to read an excerpt from Shelly’s poem “Adonais”, gives a few words about his passing and then releases thousands of butterflies into the sky.

    This film is part concert and part documentary. This is not the full show from the day but 8 key songs are shown with footage of park visitors mixed in between. Most of the people look stoned or at least floating off somewhere. In stark contrast to the surroundings is the man who is practicing casting his fly fishing rod completely oblivious to what is going on around him. Then there is the lady that explains in fascinating detail (sarcasm intended) how the word “harp” can actually be represented pictorially as an actual harp image. Gee, thanks for putting that footage in!! Then there are the lawn bowls . . . and brief but frequent conversations with Mick Jagger thrown in to round off the feature.

    This feature will interest only the hardiest of Stones fans. The audio is average and the images quite boring, while Mick puts in a very average performance. If it is the music that you are after then pick one of their other titles. If, on the other hand, you want to see the raw images of what took place on that day in 1969, then this is the ticket.

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Track Listing

1. Midnight Rambler
2. Satisfaction
3. I'm Free
4. I'm Yours, She's Mine
5. Jumping Jack Flash
6. Honkey Tonk Woman
7. Love In Vain
8. Sympathy For The Devil

Transfer Quality

Video

    The transfer is presented in its original made-for-TV aspect ratio of 1.33:1.

    The image is anything but sharp and exhibits the same look as a VCR copy that has been watched many times. Shadow detail is a problem in the 2 main shots that are taken from the back of the stage. The worst is at 4:16 and results in half the screen image being totally black with no chance of making out any detail at all. Luckily, the concert was shot outside and does not pose a problem anywhere else. There is plenty of low level noise.

    The colours were very dull and exhibited a mildly bleached and washed out look. Don't expect any splashes of bright, primary colours, since there aren't any.

    I was expecting problems with MPEG artefacts but the transfer was fine in this regard. There is so much grain that the camera looks like it used a special flyscreen lens (!). Thankfully aliasing is very rare and very mild when it does occur. Film artefacts are a huge problem and are rampant throughout the entire feature. Everything from black and white specks to hairs and dust can be seen. Some of the objects are very large in size and quite distracting.

    There are no subtitles available on this disc. You will have to sing along to the lyrics from memory.

    This disc is a single sided and single layered disc so there is no layer change.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There is only the one audio track on this disc and it is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 track, which is unfortunate, especially since the cover specifically mentions “Digitally Re-Mastered”. They have obviously only cleaned up the original sound and not remastered it into a discrete 5.1 mix. With that said, the quality of the sound recording is quite high and if this was originally as bad as the image then there has been a remarkable turnaround to get such a clean sound.

    The dialogue is as clear as you will ever hear from Mick Jagger, especially during the 60s and 70s. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer

    The music is live and raw so don’t expect any beautiful sounds like you would hear from one of their other recordings. The brief feedback in places such as 36:37 will catch you by surprise and make the eyes twitch if the volume is up high. There is no surround encoding so I would suggest you turn off any surround decoders in your amplifier and listen to this as a stereo-only track to get the best sound you can and at least fill your front soundstage with music.

    There is no subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are no extras on this disc.

Menu

    The menu design is animated and themed around the show and, like the feature, is in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. There is a brief Dolby Digital 2.0 audio soundbite as the menu loads.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I was unable to find a specific Region 1 equivalent of this disc. This title, however, is identical to the Region 2 version.

Summary

    I was expecting this “Digitally Re-mastered” transfer to offer more sound channels than the 2 we are presented with here. Maybe in hindsight that is expecting too much from what was available. Don't get me wrong - the quality of the audio is quite high and if we assume that the audio and video source material was of the same poor quality then quite a remarkable re-mastering has in fact occurred. Nonetheless, this will only interest extreme Rolling Stones fanatics. Don’t buy or rent this for the music, but purely to see what events of this monumental day were like. Should we be glad that this has been mastered onto our favourite format for posterity? I’ll let you decide.

    The video transfer is full of artefacts.

    The audio is quite good, especially if you turn off any decoding and just hear the tracks in their raw stereo format.

    There are no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Peter Mellor (read my bio)
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDDenon DVD-1600, using RGB output
DisplayLoewe Aconda 9381ZW. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials/Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationDenon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete
SpeakersWhatmough Audiolabs Magnum M30 (Mains); M05 (Centre); M10 (Rears); Magnat Vector Needle Sub25A Active SubWoofer

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